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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - JEDDAH — Nokia, as a leading global telecommunications network technology supplier, has a long history of presence in Saudi Arabia.
Since 2001, the technology company has been helping operators in the Kingdom to ensure the best possible network performance for a unique experience with voice, data, and video applications for subscribers.
“Nokia is an integral part of the society in the countries where we operate, and Saudi Arabia is our largest market in the Middle East and Africa. From this perspective, Saudi Arabia is very important for Nokia, and we at Nokia are committed to providing our latest technologies including 5G to build a robust digital infrastructure,” says Bernard Najm, vice president of the Saudi Arabia market unit.
“We leverage our end-to-end network technology portfolio to ensure the technological competitiveness and acceleration of the comprehensive digital transformation in the Kingdom in line with Saudi Vision 2030."
Today the world has changed. The technology to keep everyone and everything connected everywhere has never been more important. Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, in March 2020, the global internet traffic witnessed such a phenomenal growth in a few weeks that in the previous years used to be witnessed in a full year.
COVID-19 and Nokia’s swift response
In Saudi Arabia, the networks witnessed an increase of 30 percent traffic in March, compared to February, due to the increase in the use of data-intensive voice and video streaming applications. And, the gaming traffic increased by six times, and a similar trend was witnessed with business collaboration tools at the same time.
In order to address this kind of spike in the traffic, reliable and secure networks are essential. In addition, faster networks with higher capacity are required to provide real value to subscribers. Most importantly, telecom operators and enterprises are required to apply the intelligence to their networks — to make productivity real for people, businesses, and themselves. With these qualities, they can provide pioneering innovative new services, and enable new partnerships and new business models.
Nokia teams in Saudi Arabia, with the help of Nokia’s global centers of expertise, have put tremendous efforts during the pandemic to provide continuous monitoring of the operators’ network performance, and have taken all necessary actions to address risks and bottlenecks, ensuring zero service disruption while coping with the increased traffic load. All these were achieved while complying with all government’s preventive regulations.
Nokia’s comprehensive network technology
Nokia has both the technology vision and expertise to address the ICT requirements of Saudi Arabia. Nokia brings a comprehensive network technology portfolio to drive the digital transformation and productivity with its following core strengths:
- Reliable Connectivity: high-performing, secure networks to deliver at scale with radio, core and IP/Optical network technologies
- Superior Software: cloud-native applications to connect businesses to the network, Customer Experience Management software for the best customer experience, and intelligence-based solutions that boost automation capabilities in network operation and customer experience.
- Professional Services: right expertise and support to deploy the networks and transform businesses.
Nokia 5G in Saudi Arabia
From its end-to-end 5G technology portfolio, Nokia has deployed its 5G technologies to all three operators including STC, Zain and Mobily. All these 5G networks are already live, and Fixed wireless access (FWA) FWA in homes and businesses is bringing fiber-like speed and reliability to places where currently there is no or limited fiber infrastructure.
“5G is enabling the use of technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) immersive experiences. When those technologies mature, and VR headsets become more available, the industry will see a shift in how Saudi consumers will access exciting digital content."
"In addition, with ultra-low latency capability and extreme broadband capacity of 5G, operators and enterprises will have more opportunities to enhance the existing services,” adds Bernard.
As an example, Nokia and Zain Saudi Arabia provided a 5G-enabled VR advanced use case in Mashaer area and the Holy Mosque area in Makkah for Hajj pilgrims. This technology allowed visitors to immerse themselves remotely as if they were present on site.
Also, together with STC, Nokia deployed a 5G-based volumetric 3G hologram communications to provide an educational and awareness service to the pilgrims about Hajj rituals.
“We also expect that 5G will help cloud robotics and automation and that the future will see an increase in the use of automation in logistics services and manufacturing, transforming the energy and mining sectors. Also, 5G will enable a range of e-health use cases including the monitoring of health wearables, telemedicine, patient transfer support and bringing medical services to inaccessible areas. These diverse 5G use cases can help in building Saudi smart cities and are very useful to manage mega-events such as Hajj, and fuel the 4th industrial revolution (4IR) boosting productivity” he emphasizes.
Agreement with MCIT to launch R&D
Nokia has entered into an agreement with the Saudi MCIT to launch the Nokia R&D unit for developing software in the Kingdom. The co-operation aims to establish a Nokia software development unit and Bell Labs Research Unit in the Kingdom.
Nokia Bell Labs is Nokia’s innovation powerhouse and seeks solutions to the most fundamental technology challenges, solving problems 10 years out and taking a “future-back” approach.
The partnership Nokia has today with the communication service providers and the MCIT enhances the role of the ICT sector to build a digital society, digital government, and digital economy in the Kingdom.
“With our technological advancements year on year and our continuous engagement with the different Saudi ecosystem players, we at Nokia are very excited about the collaboration opportunities in the Saudi Market, and we look forward to playing an increasingly important role in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s digital agenda,” concludes Bernard. — SG
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